Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pickering Ward Babies

                                                                Lately we've had a few Pickering Ward activities where I've been able to steal some pictures of a few of our Ward family babies. Here is Alecia Lai with Parker.  He's the cutie wootiest.  This was at the Relief Society evening a couple of weeks ago.

This is Levi Peary.  He got caught red-handed, or perhaps I should say chocolate-mouthed... at the Linger Longer Luncheon a couple of Sundays ago.

This is Lauren Hall looking a bit surprised at that weird lady flashing lights in her face.  Lauren is going to grow up to be a super model.  I just know it. Look at those big baby blues! She just needs to work a little on her camera presence.

This is Meredith Terranova with her nephew, the youngest Brother Barney.  If I could remember Brother Barney's given name, which may or may not be Spencer, I'd be a lot happier.  It's like taking a botany class and being able to name genus and phylum, but not the common name...  My excuse is that I don't work in Primary or in the Nursery and there are lots of these little ones running around at the moment.  Which is great, by the way.  Don't get me wrong.  I wouldn't be running around myself taking pictures of these little cuties if I didn't think so.

The New Office

Here is my new office. 

 Okay, I have had that stupid picture of Los
Angeles (hanging there on the wall on the right) in storage in the hall closet for years - about 23 years to be exact.  My brother gave it to me after I moved to Los Angeles - as a joke because he has an odd sense of humor!  It's now a bit of an oddity.  We are the Los Angeles office, after all, and we do transportation and traffic planning & engineering.  But the photo is so out of date, it looks like a 20+ year-old postcard and elicits humorous comments from the engineers.
Here is my office with the file cabinets standing guard.  They've measured the window for blinds, but they haven't been installed yet.

 Here is my messy desk.  Brian said it was comforting to see my old beat up "visitor's" chair after the move.  With all the changes I had to agree.
The best part of the move is that Barbara's office is now in my line of sight, as opposed to being next door.  We get to wave at each other and giggle when the sensor suddenly turns out my lights in the middle of the day while I'm sitting at my desk typing away and being awesome. 

This ends our tour.  It's still not perfect.  I have some art to hang still.  But it's getting there!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Dancing with los muertos

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Whittier Night Life

Saturday night was the first show of our 2010-2011 season tickets with the Whittier Community Theatre.  We've had varying size groups attending through the years, but this year so many folks have baled for one reason or another (I don't care if you've moved to Arizona, Vicki!  You should have been there!) we're reduced to three: myself, Peggy and David.  To start off this season we took a chance on dining at a little bistro around the corner from my house, Crepes and Grapes. 

Now, I need to explain that David and I tried this place when it first opened a few years ago and were sadly disappointed.  They totally ruined our meals by putting the wrong sauces on the crepes we had ordered, the crepes were thick and pale and not very appetizing, and to cap the entire event, the service was awful.  We'd been on our way to the theatre that night as well and vowed never to return.

Since then, the place has gone through some changes.  For one thing, the menu has changed for the better.  There is now a good variety of fresh food and there's no longer any chance of putting the wrong sauce on the wrong crepe! They must have taken the advice of Chef Gordon Ramsay.  Ha.  I chose a grilled vegetable crepe which was lovely.  The simple accompaniment was a delicious scalloped potato dish - just the right bit of creamy goodness that set off the other grilled veggies nicely.

Here is Peggy.  She got a turkey crepe that was topped with crumbled Feta.  It looked yummy, too.  The interior of this place is slightly French with a lovely mural (see above) featuring Whittier's Uptown Village area.  This time, we all enjoyed our meals and got out in plenty of time to enjoy the theatre.

WCT's first show is always a musical.  This year they performed A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum.  Amazingly, I had never seen this show before.  I've read about it through the years, but never managed to see either the stage version or the movie.

It was fun to see lots of my former cast mates from It's a Wonderful Life-Radio Show onstage and in the audience. 

It was a lot of fun, too, to see this production.  I'm not overly fond of Sondheim, and I know there are folks who worship him, so I apologize for admitting that.  However, this was a fun show, a solid production with good casting and excellent voices.  Whittier theatre is sensitive to the community they serve and they had toned down the bawdy nature of the piece and played up the sweet silliness. It made the whole very enjoyable.  The scenery was nicely done, as were the costumes. The 2nd act, with its screwball comedy mayhem, comings and goings and running through the audience, was perfectly executed.  The pace was fast and furious and I found myself laughing out loud. 

I like laughing out loud while watching a comedy.  We all enjoyed the show immensely.

Later, after the show, we went over to the Rocky Cola for ice cream.  They have a varied menu for late night.  When Rocky Cola opened, some 20 years ago, it was superb.  It went downhill a bit in the last decade.  Although it's gotten better, I still feel like it needs a facelift.  It just doesn't draw crowds anymore, either.  But we all ordered different things and everyone enjoyed what they ordered.

Nice night on the town.  I love my little part of the world. 

Note: "Forum" runs for one more weekend, so you still have time to see it. Tickets are available at the door or on Gold-Star and are beyond reasonable.  The next production is "12 Angry Jurors", in November.  You can still get season tickets.  For the low price of $35, it's the best theatre deal in Southern California.

Jack Update

My Jack is seen here contemplating his cat carrier.  He had a another date with the Vet this weekend.  He got his 3rd set of shots on Saturday. 

Jack is doing so well!  He has a magnificent set of whiskers.  His fur is shiny and healthy.  He weighed in at 4.5 pounds.  That's up from 3.6 three weeks ago, and 2.8 three weeks before that. He's just growing and growing.  He was so good.  He popped easily into his carrier and didn't give me any fuss.  It wasn't a stress.  He was as good as can be for the Vet, too.  Today he's a little sleepy, but that's understandable.  We're getting along great.  Jack has discovered that kissing me on the nose makes me giggle, so he isn't adverse to doing that as I'm falling asleep. 

On Friday night I stopped by the grocery store on the way home from work.  I bought tons of cat food.  Jack has a prodigious appetite and eats a lot.  How he maintains his slim physique is beyond me.  He has little body fat.  Anyway, I'd been coming home late all week (we were swamped at work) and I was apologetic as I walked in the door around 7:30p.  "Sorry, I'm late, my dear," I announced as I walked in the door with tons of grocery bags.  "I was buying lots and lots of food for you."

Jack had been watching me carefully during this pronouncement.  Then he lay his little head on my feet.  The message was unmistakeable:  "Thank you!"

You are so welcome, little cuddle bunny.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

KOA's New Offices

Here is the lobby of our new offices in Monterey Park.  You can just see Hilary peeking over the railing.  'The new office is right across the street from our current offices.  Our current building was recently purchased by East L.A. College, so all the current occupants are relocating.

Hallway in the new office space.  The whole office is quite spacious, but lacks the charm of our current offices.  I'm not wild about the oatmeal color throughout, either.  I have no idea why we can't have some bright colors, but then I painted my living room rose pink...

Hilary, Brian and Ivy (I think) checking out the new cubicles.

My new office!  I have no exterior windows, but it's bigger than my current office, which will be nice.,

Sabrina and Danika checking out the new Corporate digs.
Hanging out by the new Corporate cubicles.  They'll have lots more room, which is nice.  Here is Sabrina looking sassy (as usual) and making us laugh.  The company president's office will be down the hall that swings to the right behind Danika.

We're scheduled to move on October 1st.  I'm not looking forward to the actual moving part, but it should be fun to have a change of scenery!

Lunch with friends

Jana and Vicki are two women I love that I don't see enough of.  We manage to squeeze in a luncheon every now and then.  I think doing lunch is one of my favorite things.  How can you beat good food, good friends and good conversation?  Sadly, Vicki is leaving us soon for the wilds of the upper Sonoran desert.  Since I've 'been there, done that' my enthusiasm is, er, curbed on that subject.  But, I'm glad she's doing something positive. Change can be good. 

Here is my friend Deonne nursing an ice-cold root beer.  We rarely get a chance to really talk, either, even though we usually see each other at least once a week at church.  Deonne has a wonderful mind.  I enjoy her company.  So, doing lunch is a good way to catch up.

Growing and growing!

Ah yes, here's my guy Jack - Jack o' the five hearts, or perhaps I should say Jack du Cinq Coeurs!  He's my little darling.  Jack likes to play.  Doesn't say much at all, and really really loves his spring toys, his mousies and being a stealth cat.  Because he doesn't make a peep and he's grey, it's very easy for him to sneak up on me!  I've read that his eyes will get emerald green and his fur will get even more silver as he ages.  I've found that silver part holds true for a lot of us!

Jack likes to play destructo-cat!  He has become more and more proficient at finding things to do by himself.  Most of the time that's a good thing.  I know he is lonely sometimes.  Me too.  I'm lucky to have my little lucky Thai cat.

How can you not love this cuteface?  Even with his laser eyes going in this photo, you can see how adorable he is.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jack O'Neill Thai Evensen

I’ve discovered that Jack is part Korat! It’s obvious he’s not a pure-bred. His white socks and markings show quite clearly he’s part tabby cat. However, part of him is of royal lineage!

Korats are a slate blue-grey shorthair domestic cat with a small to medium build and a low percentage of body fat. Their bodies are semi-cobby, and surprisingly heavy for their size. They are intelligent, playful, active cats and form strong bonds with people. Among Korats' distinguishing characteristics are their heart-shaped heads and large green eyes. They are one of a few breeds where individuals have only one color, blue-grey.

The legend goes that Korats have 5 hearts: Their heart-shaped heads, their sweet heart-shaped faces, their little black heart-shaped noses, and the characteristic whorls on their chests which also form a heart shape – and lastly, the heart beating in his chest that is mighty and loving.

The Korat is one of the oldest stable cat breeds. Originating in Thailand, it is named after the Nakhon Ratchasima province (typically called "Korat" by the Thai people). In Thailand it is known as Si-Sawat, meaning "Color of the Sawat Seed".They are known colloquially as the "Good Luck Cat" and are given in pairs to newlyweds or to people who are highly esteemed, for good luck. Until recently, Korats were not sold, but only given as gifts.

However, Korats are no longer seen in Thailand, having long since interbred. Korats now exist due to the diligent efforts of a few breeders, most (perhaps all) of whom are outside of Thailand.

The first mention of the Korat is in "The Cat-Book Poems" authored between 1350 and 1767 AD in Thailand, now in the National library in Bangkok. In recent years the Korat was on a postage stamp in Thailand. An example hangs in the city of Korat's post office.

Korats first appeared in America in the 1950s and arrived in Britain from there in 1972.

How lovely that I should have ended up with this breed that is just perfect for me. I read an article which talked about how well they bond with their humans and how sweet they are. I've already seen that in his behavior.

What a good luck gift he has been in my life!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My guy Jack

baby!  I'm Jack.  How you doin?
Jack, week one.

Jack, week two!

Growing like a weed.

I think that Disney artists had a hand in Jack's markings.  He's just too cute with his black eyeliner and adorable black nose and the subtle white around his sweet face. But I suppose God has a terrific palette too and a way with a brush that is unparalleled in the Universe.  He sure did great by Jack.

Jack is around 10-11 weeks old now.  His hobbies are jumping like a flash, being a camoflage cat, and shredding his mom's legs to smithereens.  He enjoys dashing about like a crazy cat, playing with his toys and climbing on his scratching posts.  He eats alot and sleeps alot and seems to be doing fine.  He has a very different personality than my sweet Emily and we are still learning about each other.

I asked Jack to smile, and he did this to oblige me!

My centerfold boy!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Meet Jack

Here is Jack.  He is a rescue cat, born up in the North Hills area north and west of where I live.  Jack is lucky enough to have come to a good home where he and his 3 siblings have been fed, loved and nurtured.  He is coming to my house at the end of the month and I am very excited to have him!  I think Emily would have approved. 

You can tell Jack is going to be a little bit of a scallywag.  And I'm betting he eventually gets to save the world at least once a week - just like his Brigadier General namesake in the Stargate program.

My friend Roxie pondered, "Hhhmmmm.... And just how much trouble per ounce do you suppose he can get into?"

Guess we'll wait and see!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Farmer's Market

I think Farmer's Markets are a really good idea.  We all benefit from eating fresh, locally grown produce.  It helps the local economy and is healthier for us.  So, I'm pleased that we have a nice market just a few blocks from my home.  However, when you are a working slob like me, it's hard to find time to attend an event held during regular working hours.

So, as I had an early morning appointment, and was going to be late for work anyway... I took  a little detour on my way to the office.  Whittier's Friday morning Farmer's Market is a surprisingly bustling place.  It was the first time I'd been since they moved to the parking lot off Bright and Philadelphia.  I got some really fresh vegetables.  Yummy and flavorful.  There were more vendors there than I remembered from last time I visited.  Some really evil man was popping popcorn in a huge vat.  I love popcorn and the smell was maddening.  It reminded me of a Saturday morning matinee, without the sticky floors and screaming kids. 

After tasting some of the produce I purchased, I'm sorry I didn't buy more!  But it's hard to tell sometimes how much to get.  It all looks so good, but there's a limit to how much one person can eat. 

Often I will stock the fridge with really great produce, only to get caught up in my hectic life, and later discover it has all turned to soup by the time I get around to eating it.  My doctor, who is from India, has been trying to encourage me to go vegetarian for years.  When I complained to her about this principle, she thoughtfully suggested I make soup when I first bring the veggies home instead of waiting for it to turn into soup on its own. Yeah, she's a real smart alec.  But she does have a point. 

I spent a few years as a vegetarian, so it's not like I haven't tried it.  Living in California for any length of time does that to you.  It's the same with going into therapy or rehab.  If you live here long enough... but I digress... I actually bought some tofu last week, intending to marinate it and fry it up with some greens.  It's still sitting in the fridge, too.  I'm going to try NOT to wait to see what it turns into when left to its own devices in the cold dark of my frigidaire, so I need to get to the store tomorrow for some marinade.  Except the Chuck season finale is on TV tomorrow night, and I can't miss it, which may put the kabosh on any experimenting in the kitchen. 

And so it goes... Sometimes I think that Purina should just come up with People Chow for folks like me who are so hopeless in the domestic department.  You know, it could be labeled like they label cat food:  there could be People Chow for kids, for adults, for seniors, for seniors with an active lifestyle, and special formulas for folks with diabetes and other ailments, canned versions and kibble.  Soylent Green analogies aside, I think it could work.

Day in the OC

Angela, Denise (not visible) Sabrina and Dannika at our marketing meeting.  We have a nice group of  marketers in our company.  It was nice to spend some time with them.  We've got a bright, creative and supportive bunch.Here is Emma.  She was in charge and did a fine job.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cognito Ergo Dim Sum.. I think therefore I like Chinese Food...

I work with a lovely bunch of people.  Today one of our senior engineers, Doug, took us all - the Corporate office and the LA office -  out for dim sum lunch at the Ocean Restaurant in Monterey Park. 

This restaurant is lovely and noisy!  It's like taking a little trip to China without leaving California.  Here I am with Hilary, who is currently in the process of getting her master's in engineering.   She is a lovely young lady.
Here are the other two tables of our coworkers.  Barbara is facing the camera.  We had a good group in the far corner of a very large dining hall.

I was seated at a table of 8, and was one of two Caucasians at our table.  Below this picture you will see Edward and Ivy - caught by surprise by my lightening fast super hidden camera. (sorry!) I've taken to carrying said camera to inflict terror and humiliation on unsuspecting folks.  It's nice to have a pictoral history of places I've been.  This is an extraordinary place.  You can see behind them how huge this place is, and it is always quite packed at lunchtime.  The waitresses all speak Chinese, too, so it is really a fun cultural experience.          

Here are Hilary and Christina (below).  It was nice having four Chinese speakers at our table.  They helped to run interference with the Chinese speaking wait staff, and helped explain certain dishes.  Some things took a little courage to try.  And it was a test I failed miserably this year.  Last year I was fairly brave.  But this time... well, however delicious they may be, I couldn't make myself try the duck feet.  Lots of yummy food, besides that, believe me, I didn't go hungry - but there are always a few things that just don't look appetizing to my Western palate.  We had such a pleasant time, though, overall, and I certainly enjoyed the company.  I think it's very nice of Doug to do this for us every year.  Thanks, Doug. Shu shu. (or however you spell it)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

April Birthdays...

Caravaggio move over...
Here is the special effects shot of Lisa, Laura and Paula's birthday party!
A great time was had by all of the participants. Thanks Mark!

Whittier Stake Emergency Preparedness Fair

The fair was well attended on Saturday. The police were there, the firemen were there, neighborhood watch groups were there, the Boy Scouts had a display, the Red Cross did too, and I also saw Whittier Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital and the Home Depot there.

There were hand-outs and demonstrations of everything from first aid to how to sprout seeds. Brother Morin was in charge of that and had some very useful handouts on seed viability and gardening.

Each ward had a different booth, and there were also several Utah companies that sell food storage items represented.

Here is Alecia Lai (in blue). I'm not sure what she was doing, but she looked great, as usual.

I was able to talk to a lot of people and get all kinds of hand-outs on things to help you through an emergency.

Here is the Home Depot group. They were handing out yardsticks and duct tape, so they were very popular.

Sadly, my photos aren't the best. I've been experimenting with different settings, and trying to get candid shots of folks takes some practice!

There are a few things I still need to be doing to prepare my own home for emergencies, but I'm getting there! It's nice to get good ideas from professionals. I suppose you are never totally prepared for a real emergency, but every little thing you can do, does help to alleviate fears. My latest purchases have been a tarp and a solar powered flashlight/radio. Baby steps...

Administrative Professionals Week

On Friday we jad the nicest surprise!  Here is our boss, Eugene, shown here with Carmen and Barbara on the steps of the Athenaeum.

The office ladies had a treat this week for Administrative Professionals day. We were treated to lunch at the exclusive, members only club at The California Institute of Technology, The Athenaeum.

The Athenaeum is supposed to be in the top 4% of private clubs in America.

The Athenaeum was built in 1930, and in 1931 hosted the first big formal party - for Albert Einstein.

It was fun getting to dine where Einstein had dined. I kept my eyes open for the seismologists they interview from Cal Tech all the time when we have earthquakes - but didn't see them! I had to be content to bask in the radiant erudite intelligence of the other clientele.

Lunch was a buffet with carved rack of baby lamb, swordfish steaks, fresh fruit, and more salads, veggies and yummy stuff than you can possibly imagine. Dessert was a white chocolate mousse with a hazelnut raspberry crust. Talk about hog heaven. I'd forgotten how lovely a 4-star restaurant can be. The white jacketed waiters kept out of site, but were there the minute you needed something. It was truly a treat.

Here are Barb, the office manager, Carmen, our receptionist and me in front of the entrance. The architecture was splendid and old world European, with coffered ceilings and hanging tapestries, It was just fun.  I'm so lucky to work with great people!

Earlier in the week, we received edible arrangements of fruit to nibble on. I spent all day pigging out on fruit. The pineapple was juicy and absolutely to die for, and they dipped the tart apples slices in chocolate, which is my favorite food group.

What a fun week!